Saturday, February 03, 2007

This is not the blog I sat down to write

So it is the weekend and I am smiling and happy cause my darling is down for the weekend and my little one has a holiday (she has always called weekends "holidays" - I choose to encourage her in this delusion) and the rain came down until 6 this morning and then cleared up to a hot, blue (if blowy) day.

Yes, the day did start a teensy bit earlier than I would have voluntarily chosen. I could directly attribute blame to my daughter - but that would be being a bad parent, because that is a guilt I can take fully on the chin.

You see, I was a firm believer in co-sleeping - still am - for babies that is. The old "what it does for your relationship" argument didn't really work for us as (a) she was the centre of the universe and should be regarded first and foremost before the wants and needs of the adults in the bed (an argument which did not come from my side of the bed) and (b) what relationship (that one was from mine).

Anyhow - too much information, I know, but as my daughter became a toddler and, quite frankly, the above argument became moot, her sleeping in Mummy's bed became more an more an act of choice - hers - over convenience - mine. But as I said in the day, its not like she is moving in on anyone's territory.

Then she became a beautiful little girl, and I encouraged her more firmly to stay in her own bed. I would do the bedtime ritual in her bed of an evening and she would end it with "Mummy, when you come and check me can you get me and take me to your bed" - and I thought (ha ha ha ha ha) that I should promise to do this for her some nights, and actually follow through. My logic was two-fold. If I did what she asked, she would trust me at my word and sleep soundly in the knowledge that her mother always did what she said she would do, and then she would get used to sleeping more firmly and therefore on the nights that I didn't promise I would have the bed to myself - still a selfish act on my part as I had not filled the paperwork for the vacancy. Well, that worked and it didn't work. She got me to do her bidding, and on the nights I was vague about what I was promising she would come in any way...

Then she became a beautiful bit bigger girl, and mummy was starting to feel like it mightn't be such a bad thing, sharing a bed - although she was thinking of something a little bit different to the mother/daughter snuggles still enjoyed. It was still a very theoretical prospect, but realised that if ANY BLOKE stood a chance of filling the slot, it would be best if he didn't have a rival in place. So I did the reward chart - which is great, except (a) it means that eventually you have to cough up for something in return for her doing what you expect of her anyway, (b) you have to do that forever and ever and ever and (c) if you ever forget for a few weeks or lose the chart or tear the chart up in frustration over some misdemeanour or other or leave the chart at your sister's place or do something to the stupid chart so that it is not on the fridge monitoring progress, well then - all bets are off and the counter is reset to zero.

Sigh - not that I mind my darling girl feeling comfortable enough to sneak in to my bed when she has a bad dream. And it is always because of a bad dream! She can pull a bad dream out for you to analyse as quick as a wink if you call her on it. I secretly think that she either has a cache of bad dreams stored up for the telling if interrogated OR deliberately has a bad dream just to sneak in to my bed.

And I especially don't want it to be a "him or me" thing for her, now that I do have a contender for the other side of the bed. There have been a few issues with her dealing with sharing mummy as it is (especially as he didn't come equipped with the instant sibling she had in mind when spuriously discussing the concept of mummy's boyfriend long before he had been a glint in my eye), and there is no need to invite trouble.

At least she has now been trained in the concept of knocking on mummy's door if it is closed, even if it IS at 3 in the morning. And I musta gotten back to sleep, because I did actually awaken several times to her commands (cuddle me mummy) and the kitten joining us - but I swear, there is something about 4.30 that if there is a chance for the universe to wake me, it will. Being squashed by two loved ones can do that for you.

This is not the blog I sat down to write, but it is better in a way. My first blog choice, I swear, was going to be the ultimate love story, because Strauss at The Brave alerted me to Scribbett's Write-Away Competition, and I thought it would kill two birds with one stone sort of thing (as I DID promise to tell you how I hooked my darling yesterday).

And then my second blog choice was because that whole feelgood I had going got suckerpunched by an action of one relative that made me feel shitty because I knew it would make another relative feel awful and - well, you gotta be glad you didn't get that one.

So I will save the former for a day this week (entries close February 12), and the latter I will continue to whirr on and either blog it, ring the either of the relatives in question and interfere, or keep well away from it and just continue to angst to my darling about - he's good that way, as he will listen, and then hopefully he will distract me.

And he is a pretty good distraction!!

So - how do you get little ones out of the bed when the big ones want to sleep (or something)?


Anonymous said...

Hey Jeanie in Paradise

Very enjoyable blog entry. You MUST tell about the rellos soon, but wonder if it can compete with my mother-in-law and two uncles-in-law showing up here at 7am today to battle with a bubushka?

Nicole in Inner Inner City

Tracey said...

I enjoyed that post Jeanie, I just can't help with any suggestions re the bed thing, which is by no means a criticism. I can easily see how it could happen with just the two of you... I have relented much more when my husband has been away. Somehow, though, we were able to remain firm on the co-sleeping thing. (What do I mean "we"? HE would sleep through a bomb going off..) Also our house helps in that our room is right on the top floor, and their bedrooms are on the middle floor - so there is no incentive to go to bed (way up there) in mum and dad's bed.

It has happened occasionally - usually when any of them were sick (and I have been spewed on in my own bed, which is not a happy experience.. and which has tended to see me putting a mattress on the floor next to my bed rather than have them in with me. Yep, I got paranoid!)

Sometimes my youngest (she's 8 - a similar age to your daughter?).. will come up to me because she's had a nightmare, but I'm usually able to send her back to her own bed once she's had a big snuggle and she's 'right'.

I think I've been lucky. Much as I love a snuggle - particularly with #3 as she is a very good snuggler, I just don't sleep well with a third person in the bed.

strauss said...

I have a night visitor too. My nearly 3 year old comes into our room more often than not. I tend to let her fall back to sleep and then I carry her back to her bed, usually once is enough, but if she comes back in moments later I usually end up saying "stuff it!" and she stays.
Last night I found her curled up on the dogs bed when I went up to go to bed.
I choose to take her back to her own bed, coz it gets too hot witht he three of us in there together and I tend to be the squashed one in teh middle with no pillow - I can't sleep.
I look forward to reading your love story ;)

Anonymous said...

my child also seems to have alot of bad dreams tucked up her sleeve - Mummy and daddys bed seems to be the point of call. I am all out suggestions to get them to stay in bed - except just keep putting them back - who feels like doing that at 3am??????!!!!

jeanie said...

Hey there Nicole - well, at least my situation waited until 10 to ruin my day, so you do top mine!

Tracey - hmmm, build an extra storey on the house does sound like a solution!

Strauss - your poor 3 year old - it really was a 3 dog night, huh?

Joanne - I am "like a log" variety of sleeper, so unless I am woken by heat, squashing, kicking or direct intervention there is no way a sneaky child could rouse me! This is where I have failed thus far in the "put her back into bed" strategy!

Scribbit said...

Well it may not be what you intended to write but it is a good read nonetheless.

Hope you're still planning on submitting to the contest--

Anonymous said...

My son too, calls weekends holidays. Why not ey?

As for getting little ones out of bed while big ones sleep or something? I'd suggest the telly.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh, you mean she sleeps with you and want to kick her out when your fella is there? Mmmm, telly at midnight probably isn't the go.